Thursday, December 23, 2010

Daehangno 대학로

When we mention theater districts, we could think of New York's Broadway. I know I should not compare but this could be the easiest way to explain the nature of the Daehangno area. The fast growing performing arts industry or theater arts in Korea can be manifested in Daehangno.

When I first came to Korea a year ago, I was very surprised about the popularity of performing arts to both local Koreans and foreigners. I’ve seen some big performances like Jump, Nanta, Sachoom and Ballerina who Loves a Bboy and more many times. Each has its own concept mostly a mixture of two different elements like different kinds of dances, taekwondo and even cooking. You can just imagine the creativity  of how they mixed these elements and appeared as just another sort of art expression. 
Daehangno, which literally means “college street” based on its Chinese character  (大學路), has been the home of Korea’s aspiring theater actors. The 1.1km six-lane road from Hyehwadong rotary to Ihwadong crossroad was designated as street culture on May 5,1985 representing the characteristic of the area.

Once you visit Daehangno, you’ll find yourself looking at the plethora of posters about musicals and plays right from the subway station, Hyehwa Station, to bulletin boards. They even have information centers where you could buy tickets, get information about the current and upcoming shows or you can also use it as a meeting place.

There are also many young people inviting people to watch their shows. There are many theaters, concert halls, and musicals concentrated in Daehangno where a wide variety of performances are held throughout the year. The last time I heard a total of 40 or more small and large theaters. Maybe there are more now.

You’ll never get bored if you come to Daehangno. There are many choices of musicals and plays to watch of different genres. If you visit on weekends you can enjoy Marronnier Park, where you could watch plays or many other performances for free.

If you want to enjoy Korea and Seoul, Daehangno is a must visit place!

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